|Review by mckenziedrums||posted 03-28-2010 02:59 PM||9171 views||7 times favorited||25 comments|
- Accu-Head M1305162A-RY13 Ryobi 13" Helical Cutter Head
- Brand: Accu-Head | Category: Planers
I’ve seen a couple people post about the Accu-Head cutter heads but I’ve yet to actually see a true review of it…
Back Story: A few months ago I was getting rather frustrated with my Ryobi planer and without the funds to buy a new $500 Steel City planer (the least expensive helical planer that I know of) I decided to pull the trigger on this upgrade. The Accu-Head.com website isn’t exactly faith inspiring but knowing they make the heads for the Steel City I figured I should be OK. My new cutter head showed up in about a week and has been sitting around in the garage now for several months waiting on me to actually get motivated to install it.
Installation: Make sure you’re comfortable with taking things apart… I tore down my planer shortly after this came in and due to the cold weather the bearing froze up a bit inside the housing. Took some work with a hammer and punch to get it out and involved quite a bit of frustration due to fairly tight tolerances. The new cutter head has it’s own bearing but you will need to get the pully and nut off of the original one without damaging them. If you’re installing in a Ryobi 1301 like I did please note that the side with all the pullies might have be removed if you can’t slide the old cutter head out so you can get to the bearing with the punch. Should you have to remove it, I’d suggest taking the 4 corner bolts out and leaving the housing for the gears in one piece. Lots of nasty packing grease in that thing ;)
Verdict: Nothing scarier than hitting the power button on a couple thousand rpms of sharp spinning steel that you put back together right? ;) In any case I grabbed some rough cut curly maple and decided to give the planer a hard time. I took a huge cut out of the wood and it barely even slowed down. Wood chips flying everywhere and a pretty darn even cut with very little tear out of the curly maple. When I backed the depth of cut off it produced super smooth boards with very little need for sanding. As with other helical heads the cutting process has gone down several decibels as well.
My recommendation: If you’ve already got a planer sitting around that they make an upgrade for, seriously consider this. They shipped it with some spare cutting inserts and the replacements are that expensive. Unlike some of the more expensive models these are 2 sides so you at least get to rotate them once before scrapping the high speed steel cutters. Would have been nice for them to be 4 sided but for less than half the price of some of the competition I won’t complain.